The Director-General of UNESO, Irina Bokova today condemned the murder of two Mexican journalists, María Yarce Viveros and Rocio González Trápaga in Mexico city during the night of 31 August.
"I condemn the murder of Rocio González Trápaga and María Yarce Viveros and call for an investigation into this crime," the Director-General said. "The very high death toll suffered by Mexican journalists is an unbearable offense against society as a whole. It deprives journalists from enjoying their basic human right to exercise freedom of expression. Violence against the media also encourages self-censorship thereby limiting the Mexican public’s right to enjoy the free and informed debate that is essential for any democracy."
The bodies of both journalists were found, strangled, in park in Mexico City on 1 September. They were kidnapped as they left work on 31 August and, according to local press reports, their killing bore the hallmark of a drug cartel killing.
Ana María Yarce Viveros, 48 was the founder of investigative weekly magazine Contralínean. The magazine has allegedly been the target of intimidation and judicial harassment in recent years, according to Reporters without Borders.
Rocio González Trápaga, also 48, was a freelance journalist who used to work for Televisa.
Reporters without Borders says that these two killings bring to 80 the number of media workers killed in Mexico since 2000. Six of the victims were women.
UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”